Republican Senator John McCain’s office announced in a statement Wednesday night that a recent surgery revealed a cancerous tumor in his brain, and that he is considering chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
According to the statement, the tumor was discovered after McCain underwent surgery for a blood clot above his left eye last Friday, July 14. That surgery was cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a reason for deferring action on the Senate’s controversial health care bill, per CNN.
CNN spoke with the doctors who performed McCain’s surgery, and confirmed the senator’s statement that the tumor, a glioblastoma, has been completely removed. The statement said McCain is doing “amazingly well” and that his underlying health is “excellent.”
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According to the New York Times, McCain’s current condition is unclear, as is the timeline for his return to the Senate. The Times reported Sunday that McCain’s initial surgery may have been more serious than first thought and quoted medical experts as saying that it could be a week or two before McCain could return to Washington.
McCain was previously diagnosed with skin cancer in 2000. His health was an issue of some speculation during his 2008 presidential run.
In a statement released by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump, who has previously feuded with McCain, called the senator a “fighter.”
“Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy and their entire family. Get well soon,” the statement read.
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, the median prognosis for glioblastoma is two to three years. The five-year survival rate is 10 percent.
In a statement to the New York Times, McConnell said McCain has “never shied from a fight.”
“I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life,” McConnell said. “We all look forward to seeing this American hero again soon.”
McCain’s fellow senator from Arizona, Republican Jeff Flake, tweeted Wednesday that McCain’s diagnosis is “tough,” but that he is an “even tougher man.”
Former president Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, both Democrats, also chimed in on social media to offer their support for McCain.
Across the political aisle, McCain’s colleagues in the Senate offered their thoughts and prayers.
McCain’s former vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, also posted a supportive message to Facebook on Wednesday.